The not-so-subtle threat here is, like Serwer’s, a rather pernicious one. “Oh, you want to look into these programs benefiting racial groups? Well, maybe you should reconsider that. Or maybe you’re a racist? Keep poking around, and let’s see what sticks.”

Over at Breitbart.com, Lee Stranahan notes that the Nation‘s Richard Kim said that “probably the best way in which to frame this [is] as a historical inquiry and about justice.” In the same segment, Melissa Harris-Perry (she of All Your Kids Are Belong To Us fame) suggests that worrying about $4.4 billion of fraud is coded racism. “I have been waiting for a front page story about Pigford,” she said. “But then the front page story that we get ends up sounding to me—I have to say it—like some kind of agricultural welfare queen anxiety.” Don’t you dare talk about this as fraud or an unearned handout, racist! It’s all about social justice! Kevin Drum, meanwhile, warns he is “not looking forward to the inevitable ugliness this is going to generate.” We should all watch it. We don’t want to give him a sad, do we?

“Never underestimate the fear of being called racist.” That fear’s not going away any time soon if the progressive media has anything to do with it.